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  • Writer's pictureMatt O'Dore

Understanding the Various Styles of Skylights

Updated: Feb 23

open skylight showing blue sky and clouds

If your goal is to enhance your home's energy efficiency, we would recommend considering the installation of skylights. They are excellent providers of natural lighting, contributing significantly to daylighting, which, in turn, leads to a considerable reduction in your energy expenses.

However, the decision-making process regarding the choice of skylights for their roofs can often seem overwhelming to many individuals. To help you navigate this, we have compiled an assortment of different skylight types and their respective functionalities.

What Exactly is a Skylight?

A skylight is essentially a window located on the roof of a building, designed to permit natural light to brighten up the interiors. Skylights come in a plethora of shapes and sizes, which include forms like rectangular, circular, and pyramid-shaped.

Skylights can be integrated into a variety of buildings, be it residential, commercial, or industrial. These installations allow natural light to permeate a room, reducing the requirement for artificial lighting during daylight hours. Certain skylights are equipped with a cover that can be opened or closed to facilitate ventilation.

Besides offering natural light, skylights can provide substantial energy savings by diminishing the necessity for artificial lighting and heating. However, incorrect installation or lack of regular maintenance can lead to leaks, potentially damaging a building's interior. To prevent such problems, it is crucial to engage roofing professionals like Matador Exteriors when installing or maintaining skylights.

  • Fixed Skylights: The most frequently encountered types of skylights are fixed skylights. True to their name, these skylights are stationary and do not provide the option of opening. They are an excellent choice for spaces like attics and stairwells, where ventilation isn't a high priority. Additionally, these can be installed in rooms featuring high ceilings that are challenging to access, allowing for additional daylight and opportunities for star-gazing.

  • Ventilated Skylights: Ventilated skylights are ideal if you're looking for a combination of daylight and fresh air in your rooms. These resemble fixed skylights in their visual appearance; however, they come with the added feature of being able to open, enabling fresh air to circulate and excessive moisture to be expelled. Ventilated skylights are well-suited for kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms.

  • Tubular Skylights: If your ceiling doesn't have the space to accommodate fixed or ventilated skylights, tubular skylights offer a space-saving alternative to bring daylight into your home. These skylights resemble a small tube with a diameter of approximately 10 to 15 inches. These skylights extend from your roof right to the room requiring natural light. The tube utilizes optical strategies to direct sunlight downwards and into the room.

  • Custom Skylights: Custom skylights are designed according to your specific preferences. They can take any shape or size, be installed at an angle or vertically, and be ventilated or fixed. These are commonly installed to enhance the visual appeal of your home or building. In situations where standard skylights cannot be installed due to roofing constraints, many individuals opt for custom skylights. And while these skylights add a trendy touch to your home, it's important to consider using hurricane-resistant glass and rain sensors.

  • Dome Acrylic Skylights: If you desire natural light to pour into your home even during less bright daylight conditions, dome acrylic skylights are a suitable choice. These are constructed from a flexible yet durable plastic that disseminates light evenly around the room. Their unique shape ensures your room is well-lit even under less bright light conditions. Dome acrylic skylights are typically installed in entrances to accentuate decorative features such as sculptures and paintings.

  • Barrel Vault Skylight: Primarily suited to non-residential buildings, barrel vault skylights require nearly 80% of the roof’s surface for installation. They provide an economical and functional solution to illuminate lobbies, entrances, interiors, and passageways in buildings. Barrel vault skylights are also frequently used as canopies to cover walkways between buildings.

  • Pyramid Skylight: Pyramid skylights are a type of roofing system specially designed to permit natural light to flood an indoor space. It usually comprises a pyramid-shaped glass or polycarbonate structure that is mounted on top of a roof. Pyramid skylights are sought after in both commercial and residential buildings owing to the numerous advantages they provide. Firstly, they brighten up indoor spaces and make them more welcoming by letting in natural light. Secondly, they can help curtail energy costs by reducing the reliance on electric lighting during daytime hours. Additionally, pyramid skylights can enhance indoor air quality by allowing fresh air to enter and circulate. Lastly, they can boost the aesthetics of a building and contribute to increasing its value. Overall, pyramid skylights offer a practical and stylish solution to introduce more natural light and fresh air into a building while simultaneously improving its energy efficiency and value.

  • Hallway Skylight: A hallway skylight can be the perfect solution to liven up any dark or narrow corridors in your home. It brings in natural light and improves the overall ambience of the space. Apart from serving as a source of natural light, it also adds an architectural feature to your hallway, creating a unique highlight for your guests. A skylight can also aid in reducing your electricity bills, as it diminishes the need for artificial lighting during the day. Of course, skylight installation necessitates careful planning, design, and implementation. Working with a professional is crucial to ensure that the skylight is installed correctly, as any mistakes could lead to leaks or other complications. With proper installation and upkeep, a hallway skylight can be both a beautiful and functional addition to any home's design.

  • Double Skylight: A double skylight comprises two skylights installed adjacently on a roof. This is a brilliant option for those who want to maximize the amount of natural light entering their home or building. Double skylights can be crafted from a range of materials, including glass and acrylic, and are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes to meet the homeowner's preferences and requirements. They can also be installed in different areas, such as over a living room, kitchen, or bathroom, to create a bright and airy ambiance in those spaces. There are many advantages of having a double skylight, including reducing the necessity for artificial lighting, enhancing energy efficiency, and improving the aesthetics of a space. However, to ensure that the skylights are watertight and safe, correct installation is essential and should always be done by a professional.

Book Your Skylight Installation Today

Everyone dreams of a home bathed in natural light. It not only helps cut costs, but also renders the interior spacious, airy, and vibrant. Unsure which skylight is the perfect fit for you? No worries! Our roofing contractors at Matador Exteriors, located in Vancouver, WA are here to assist.

With so many varied options at your disposal, we're eager to understand your vision for your home. We'll then provide suitable recommendations that align with your home requirements and budget. Don't hesitate to give us a call today to schedule your skylight installation!

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